Better Business Bureau warns consumers of reshipping scam

February 18, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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Trucking companies and job seekers should be on the lookout for identity theft. The Better Business Bureau of St. Louis has issued a warning after one company fell victim to a reshipping scam.

The Better Business Bureau is advising job seekers to beware of a scam that recently affected Walnut Grove, Mo.-based Westerman’s Express. The scheme targets job seekers by offering work-from-home positions, according to a Better Business Bureau news release.

Red flags were raised when the Better Business Bureau received numerous calls from people across the nation claiming Westerman’s Express failed to pay them for work. Victims of the scam were told they would receive $3,000 a month to receive, repackage and reship items.

In one case, a 24-year-old mother of two children in Memphis was hired from an online ad for the job. The woman shipped 20 packages in December, mostly electronic goods. She never received the $3,000 expected to arrive in January. The scammers, posing as Westerman’s Express, severed all communications with the woman.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Westerman’s Express has nothing to do with either the scheme or the website associated with it, WestermansExpress.com.

In fact, the company has never had its own website. Westerman’s Express has been in business for a decade and a Better Business Bureau accredited business for more than five years.

Joe Westerman, owner of Westerman’s Express, told the Better Business Bureau that at least 150 people called him about the scam. At least one person attempted to turn Westerman over to a collection agency.

Reshipping scams are nothing new. According to the Better Business Bureau, the scheme usually involves stolen credit card numbers. The scammers purchase items with those numbers and dupe people into mailing the items overseas through a work-from-home job opportunity. However, those employees hardly ever receive any pay.

“People need to know that if they repackage and reship merchandise for strangers, they could unknowingly be breaking the law,” Michelle L. Corey, Better Business Bureau St. Louis CEO, said in a statement.

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The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips for those looking for work-at-home positions:

  • Research any business and its owners carefully before accepting employment. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at BBB.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
  • Ask to speak to other employees who have done similar work for the company and contact them.
  • Request a detailed description of exactly what the job entails. If the business model doesn’t make sense, it is probably best to avoid it.
  • Ask for the location of the corporate headquarters and check it out to make sure it is legitimate.
  • Be careful when providing sensitive information as it could be a scheme to steal an identity.
  • If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local BBB, your state attorney general’s office, the U.S. Postal Inspectors Service (877-876-2455) or the Federal Trade Commission (877-382-4357).
  • Report any scams to BBB Scam Tracker.

Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.